Boss Hails BTCC Popularity

British Touring Car Championship boss Alan Gow believes his series was beaten only by the cricket mania caused by the Ashes this summer as being the country's biggest sporting success

Boss Hails BTCC Popularity

With television viewing figures and spectator attendances showing significant gains this year thanks to an close contest between Matt Neal and Yvan Muller, Gow believes there is no doubt about the status of the BTCC in this country.

"The BTCC is leagues ahead of anything else in British motor racing as far as public profile goes," he said. "Just look at the volume of viewers and spectators. Our TV audience is up by some 38 per cent and the gate numbers by around 22 per cent.

"No other championship in Britain has had that sort of an increase. In fact, I doubt any other sport has, with the exception of cricket. This has been a great year for the BTCC and has been better than we've had for many years."

Gow believes that the series is unlikely to rest on its laurels, however, with more teams than ever set to commit to the championship in 2006.

"As people can read nearly every week in the specialist media, there are a lot of people talking about joining and putting together programmes to run in the championship," he said. "That is new. That level of genuine interest hasn't happened for quite a few years.

"A turning point was the forum we held for prospective independent teams. It led to us receiving much more genuine enquiries than I've ever known while I've been in charge, either currently or in the past.

"People there learnt a lot and some have admitted it was quite an eye-opening experience. As a direct result of the forum alone, we will probably see at least four new cars next season in addition to the many other prospective entries also being discussed.

"Like all high profile championships, grid sizes were down at the start of the season - something that was not unique to us - but these picked up considerably as the season progressed. And yet again, the BTCC put on some amazing racing which is what our most important customers, the spectators and viewers, want to see."

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